Indications have shown that Manchester City and PSG are convinced that Barcelona captain and talisman, Lionel Messi will leave Camp Nou in 2021.
Messi has less than seven months on his current deal and he is likely to leave the club. But most of the Barca presidential aspirants want Messi to stay, as they are willing to make him a new offer.
Messi could be waiting to see who emerges winner in the January 20 process before finally deciding to pack his bags come June 2021.
Barca has been hit by COVID-19 and their debt seems to have risen up to 700m Euros. This has prompted most of the presidential aspirants to suggest that Messi would have to lower his wage before he can be offered a new deal. Most of the players had been offered new deals which brought about salary cuts for the time being.
It is no longer news that the 33-year-old attempted to engineer a move away from Camp Nou last summer because he is not happy. Messi wants the club to be competitive as they are suffering from crisis both on and off the pitch.
Having endured a very public falling out with former president Josep Bartomeu, his relationship with the club appears to be beyond repair.
Manchester City and PSG anticipating Messi
Man City and Paris Saint-Germain have been the two clubs that are closely linked with the 33-year-old. The two clubs are financially stable and nothing can stop them from paying Messi’s wage if he agrees to a move to either of them.
They will want to take advantage of the situation as the prized asset could be available to them on a free transfer. This is believed that it won’t eat into their budget much knowing fully well is that they will only be paying for his wages.
All they are waiting for is for Messi to reaffirm his intentions to leave Barcelona. But knowledgable sources have said that both Man City and PSG hold ‘genuine belief’ he will leave the Blaugrana club in 2021.
“There is now a genuine belief that 2021 will see Lionel Messi move on. We know from intermediaries that the financial demands have changed and are now considered much more ‘realistic’ and because of this Man City and PSG are taking this seriously.
“Getting Messi now means you get a good two or three years out of him, if not more – but if he does not move this year, he won’t get many more chances and with Barcelona’s current situation, now could be the perfect time for all parties,” a source told 90min.
Letting Messi go could be a blessing to Barca in disguise
Meanwhile, it could be a smart move by Barca to allow Messi to leave after 13 years of stay at the club. Allowing the Argentine maestro who has been off his best in recent weeks will save Barca roughly £750,000-a-week, his current wage, which depends on image rights and bonuses.
On the other hand, Barca will also be losing their most valuable and expensive asset if they let him leave. Sales from jerseys alone and image rights go into alot of millions and the club can easily recoup part of its money there.
This could be more of the reason both clubs want to sign him. Having such a figure at the club will also improve their status and can also attract future talents who want to play with the six times world footballer of the year.
The good news for both City and PSG is that Messi is reportedly keen on a move away from Barca. This has made him and his father (who is also his agent) to lower his wage demands into the realms of ‘normality’ in the midst of the pandemic – a compromise that would see him receive half his current earnings.
According to reports, such earning would still make him the highest paid player at Man City, and would put him on a par with PSG’s top earner Neymar.
This has left the European giants convinced that Messi is now a realistic and reachable target for the summer.
The offer on the table for Messi at City is that they intend to partner with the parent company City Football Group (CFG). This will allow the forward to choose his destination on a yearly basis within the company’s portfolio of clubs. This means he can decide to play for New York City FC within his contract.
CFG is also planning to invest in an Argentinian club. This would greatly attract Messi to their plans, but the current regulations ban the possibility of foreign investment.
They may then use Messi’s presence as a native to help them overcome those strict rules.
On the other hand, Kylian Mbappe has never hidden his admiration for Real Madrid. He has been constantly linked to the club. With his contract remaining 18 months, PSG may want to cash in on him and return the investment on Messi.
Messi could as well consider moving to PSG, which gives him the chance of a reunion with Neymar, who has been his cheerleader.
PSG could also involve Eden Hazard in the deal for Mbappe should Galacticos agree to such. The Belgian has not been able to produce the form that made Les Blancios paid a huge amount for him.
Having recently break Pele’s record with Barcelona, Messi could decide that he fulfilled and finally lift the lid on the links of PSG and Manchester City. By then, it is expected that he would have reached an agreement with one of them.
So, losing Mbappe for Messi and Hazard could be a good gain for the Paris team. It will be interesting how next summer’s transfer window will look like as we look forward to it.